Definition - What does Goddess mean?
Goddess, in Hinduism, can refer to the supreme Mother Goddess or any number of female deities. Depending on the tradition, the goddess can also be an avatar of the Mother Goddess or a deity in her own right.
A goddess may be known by many names, and worshipped and personified in many forms. The supreme goddess is known by her Sanskrit name, Devi, in many Hindu traditions. In the Shakta Hindu tradition, she is known as Shakti, the female principle of divine energy in goddess form.
The goddess can be channeled through a yoga practice and she has even inspired some asanas.
Yogapedia explains Goddess
The specific tradition of Hinduism determines whether a goddess is the supreme deity, a major goddess or an incarnation of the supreme or major goddess. Here are some of the names of the most worshipped goddesses:
- Devi or Shakti is the great goddess and mother of the universe. For some Hindus, she is the primary deity, while for others she is one of many goddesses. All Hindu goddesses may represent different incarnations of Devi.
- Parvati is the Hindu goddess of love, devotion and fertility. She is the gentle mother and nurturing aspect of the Hindu goddess.
- Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and prosperity, as well as spiritual abundance.
- Saraswati is the goddess of wisdom, the arts and learning.
- Durga is the warrior goddess and goddess of power.
- Kali is a fearsome goddess associated with empowerment and death. She is the destroyer of evil forces, ignorance and sin; but is also revered as the goddess of time, creation, power and change.
In yoga, the goddess is the inspiration for utkata konasana (goddess pose) and Kali asana (squatting birth pose), among others.
Goddess yoga also refers to a type of yoga that may be practiced in order to realize and identify a goddess within oneself. Practitioners visualize the goddess, pray to and meditate upon her, awakening their kundalini energy and bringing healing and happiness.